A local tech company is conducting 3D rendering services that could help preserve heritage sites in Macau.
In January of this year, Golding Tech completed 3D scanning and 360 panorama capturing of the interior and relics in the St. Dominic’s Church near Senate Square as the UNESCO World Heritage Site underwent restoration works.
The restoration works were part of MOP6 million (US$751,617) public contract granted to Lou Chong Neng (盧宗寧建築商) and commissioned by the Cultural Affairs Bureau (IC) as a digital record.
3D scanning is the process of analyzing a real-world object or environment to collect data on its shape and possibly its appearance, with the collected data can then be used to construct digital 3D models.
“We were lucky since it was one of the few times the church was closed to the public […] After collecting all the data everything can be shared within a link,” Chang told Macau News Agency.
According to Peter Chang, one of the company’s founders and former Yahoo engineer, the 3D map created not just allows for virtual visits whenever the church is not available to the public, but can also assist in future restoration works in case the heritage site suffers any damage.
The software engineer remembered the 2016 fire in the local Ah-ma Temple and the similar 2019 Notre-Dame fire in Paris, as examples where 3D rendering could assist in restoring heritage following serious damage.
“For example sometimes with symmetrical objects like a wood Christian cross, when one side of the wood cross is damaged, we can use 3D scanning to scan and print, then colour it like wood,” Chang told MNA.
The 3D data can also be combined printing technology to mass-produce objects, saving manpower, material resources, and time costs.
The local tech SME is currently discussing with the local IC if the technology could be used in other heritage sites in the city.